A Complete Guide To Baby Names

One of the first things expecting parents think about is naming their baby. It’s a privilege and a really fun decision to make, but not something you want to get wrong!

Let’s discuss:

The Importance of Choosing A Good Name For Your Baby

Parents often spend ages selecting the right name for their offspring, which is good news in the light of recent research. The name you give your baby matters big time. Get it right, and you can influence whether your child fits in at school, is quick to learn, successful, and develops self-esteem. The name you give your baby will affect the traits they adopt as they mature.


Mothers and fathers instinctively understand the name they give their child says something to the world about their identity. Of course, babies need time to cultivate their persona, so their parents pick names they believe reflect the traits they want their offspring to develop. Research shows doing so is sensible. However, mistakes when it comes to selecting baby names can put kids at a disadvantage rather than give them a step up in life.

Social standing and prospects

You might imagine social status is not a consideration regarding your child's future success. However, studies reveal children's names can give away their economic status, and this has an impact on their education. Kids with names that sound as though parents with little schooling chose them rarely excel in the classroom. Indeed, they do worse than other children. The cause could be low expectations since less encouragement and attention might be given to them than to kids from wealthier backgrounds. 

Self-image

Whether or not people like their name affects their self-esteem. If they dislike the way it sounds or the letters used to spell it, they may also dislike themselves. It's important you like the first letter of your name, and whether it sounds soft or hard, depending on the associations you make with such factors. If for instance, you associate soft sounding names with femininity, and you're a boy, you may want a different sounding name you can link with masculinity.

Gender and names

Boys with names conventionally given to females have more of a tendency to misbehave than those with masculine names. Possibly, they are bullied and act up as a way of proving their machismo to their peers. Girls with names regarded as predominantly male, on the other hand, may be more likely to specialize in science-based courses than their counterparts with feminine names, who select humanities.


Unusual names

Parents who want to help their kids stand out choose unique names for them, which may or may not be helpful. If the name selected is decidedly odd, a child's peers may poke fun at them. Also, names with unusual spellings influence their owner's reading and spelling abilities adversely. Being constantly questioned about whether they know how to spell their names correctly could confuse them and dampen their language skills. Then again, children with unusual names might be parented in ways that assist with uniqueness. Those with uncommon names may have mothers and fathers who encourage them to rise above the norm in a manner aiding success.


Growing into a name

Research shows people's names are often guessable because they look like a Tom, Susan, or another name. Most likely, people grow into their names predictably, depending on the society to which they belong. If Toms in Australia often have long golden hair, and that's where you live and what you name your baby, your child may adopt the hairstyle to match society's expectations as he matures. Does this matter? It might if Toms are also associated with adverse behavior, and your kid grows into that too.

You're right to take your time when picking a baby name; your child's future may be affected by your choice. Parents who regret the names they choose wish they had researched potential names beforehand and thought about the consequences of those selected. Bearing such considerations in mind will help you find the right name for your child.


Advice on choosing a baby name


Here are the steps to follow when chosing a name for your baby.

Discuss with your partner

Popular baby names come and go. Prevalent name choices may even change before you get through the pregnancy. Families and peer pressure contribute to the stress of naming your baby. The most difficult compromises on names, however, occur between spouses. Both parents often want to claim final naming rights. There are a few creative ways to find some common ground.


Priorities

Most individuals have significant reasons that they like or dislike specific names. Take the time to understand what is important to both of you. One person may want to pass down a family name, while the other must have something unique. Each person should make a list of naming priorities in descending order from most important aspect to the least important. That gives each of you an idea where the compromising can start. Agree to fit in at least one essential attribute from each list. 

Change it Up

If your spouse loves a name that you can't stand, perhaps it can be changed. A familiar name can become more attractive with a creative spelling. Some names commonly used for boys make great girls names. If a particular family name makes you cringe, consider using a middle or last name. Many surnames make great first names. You can also find something memorable about a loved one to represent the name. For example, you can name a girl after your grandmother's favorite flower. There is often a solution to satisfy everyone involved.

Split the Responsibility

While splitting the responsibility is an easy solution if you are having multiples, this method can still work with a single pregnancy. You each can agree to choose one of the names. Create lists of possibilities before discussing the final decision. Plan a time to sit down and go over the lists, trying out names from each one as the first and middle name. Write them down and say them out loud. You can also agree to let one spouse responsible for naming a girl, and the other for a boy. These methods work well when no one wants to budge on specific names.


Add a Name

A second middle name is not all that uncommon. A family name can easily be an additional name. That allows for the inclusion of a particular honor without limiting other naming choices. It also provides space to include favorite names from both parents. There is a certain formality in longer names, which can appear distinguished when appropriately organized. 


Ask for Suggestions

Sometimes it can be beneficial to have an objective opinion. Step away from the stress of picking a name for a little while. Ask friends and family to contribute some name ideas. There may be a suggestion that both of you love. Keep a jar, with paper and pen nearby, for visitors to leave their thoughts anonymously.

Set one up at home and work. Neither of you can be partial to family or friends if you don't know who suggested the names. Make it even more fun by asking strangers to write down their favorites. Ask the grocery clerk, the coffee shop barista, or your waitress at dinner. Dump out the jar and enjoy reading through the possibilities. 

Naming your baby can be as fun as it is stressful. Many parents, especially mothers, have a list of names they have been composing for years. The reality of compromising on a name can cause a few complications. It can help to take a break from the stress of it all and gather some input from friends and family.

You can get creative with family names by using the middle or last names of your favorite aunt or grandparent. Use a loved one's attribute to inspire a unique name. You can also find a variation of a name your spouse has chosen. With some creativity and perseverance, you are sure to find a name you both love. 


Baby Name Ideas

Naming a baby is a big deal. After all, it's a decision that your baby is probably going to live with for life. Whether you want a unique name or something relevant today, these baby naming trends can put you on the right track to finding perfection for your little one.

Grandparent Names

Naming children after family members has been popular since names began, and it's always a good idea to list family names among your options.

We've seen old-fashioned names like Ella, Pearl, and Henry come back into the spotlight, and now you can expect that trend to skip to the next generation.

What are your parents' or grandparents' names? There is no greater way to honor people you love than to pass on their names. If you're not crazy about the name the way it is, consider a slight modification.

Soon you'll start to see girls with names like Susan, Linda, Patricia, Lisa, Judith, and Betty. Boys will be George, Barney, Walter, Ray, and Fred.

Make the Last Name First

Using a surname as a first name is a traditional move that can give your child a connection to family. Many women choose to honor their families by giving a baby their maiden name. The new twist on this is that these names can typically work for either gender.

You'll see baby girls and boys with names like Elliot, Anderson, Harrison, Taylor and Kennedy.

End With Double-T 

Many popular names contain a double consonant in the middle. Names like Jennifer, Emma, and Bobby were common for a long time.

The double consonant trend is shifting to the end of names, and T's are in the spotlight. You are now going to see names with the double-T at the end.

Names like Scarlett, Bennett, and Everett are cute ways to rock this double-T trend. 

Masculinity in Boy's Names 

With so many boy's names becoming gender neutral, some parents are putting the focus on masculinity. Look for boy's names that promote power and strength.

Maximus, Walter, Arnold, Magnus and Terry are all names that are associated with strength and leadership.

Tributes to Women

When it comes to daughters, many new parents will give their girls something to live up to by naming them after influential women. Some popular options are Ruth (Bader Ginsburg), Sojourner (Truth), Harriet (Tubman), Eleanor (Roosevelt), and Coretta (Scott King).

Short and Sweet 

Modern parenting is all about the struggle for simplicity, and you can see this in baby names. Look for short, cute baby names that still carry a lot of meaning.

Some examples are Kim, Blue, Ivy, Lola, Anne and Joy. 

Comic Book Names

As the geek lifestyle becomes increasingly mainstream, so do names from comic books. You'll see more babies named for their parents' favorite superheroes or even for villains.

Get ready to meet baby boys named Tony, Lex, Xavier, Scott, and Thor. Girls will be Harley, Jean, Pepper, Wanda, and Diana. Logan and Remy will work for either gender.

All About O's

Not many names in the past few decades have started with the letter O, but that is quickly changing. The incredibly popular Olivia and Oliver have inspired the rise of a whole wave of O names.

These include Otto, Oscar, Omar, Olive, Ona, and Opal. 

Book Characters

Names based on literature are always a great choice. What is your favorite book? Who was your favorite book character as a child?

Naming your baby after a beloved character in a children's book is a sweet trend that will fill the world with names like Alice, Ramona, Holden, Max, and Matilda.

Modern Preppy

Preppy names are back, but they are different from those you saw in the 80s and early 90s. Modern preppy names continue to carry old school charm but also have an edge.

The next generation of preps is getting names like Remington, Montgomery, Briggs, Whitaker, and Benedict.

Knowing naming trends can be useful when it comes to deciding on the perfect name for your baby. You can use trends exactly as they are, or you can alter them to give your child a unique name. Take a look at these trends in baby names when coming up with just the right name for your new baby.

20 Unique Biblical Baby Names

Parents have been thumbing through the Bible for baby names for a long time. This book was the source for some very popular names like Michael, Sarah, Joseph and Mary. In recent years, some other Bible names have become trendy. Names like Levi, Hannah and Noah are heard on playgrounds everywhere.

Considering the popularity of the Bible, you might think that all the great baby names have been overused. Would you be surprised to learn that there are still lots of Biblical baby names that have been overlooked or haven't been seen in several decades?

Here are 20 terrific Biblical names that would be perfect for a modern baby.

Biblical Names for Girls

Ahlai (aa-LAY)

Ahlai was an ancestor of one of David's mighty men. The name Ahlai is said to mean beautiful or ornamental.


Damaris (DAM-uh-riss or duh-MARE-iss)

The Damaris of the Bible was an Athenian woman who was converted to Christianity by Paul and was a great encouragement to him.

Most people agree that this pretty name means gentle, although some report that it refers to a heifer or calf.

Dinah (DIE-nuh)

Dinah is a Hebrew name that saw some popularity several decades ago but is rarely used today. In the Bible, Dinah was the daughter of Jacob and Leah.

The name means avenged or vindicated.


Esther (ESS-tur)

Esther is a well-known Biblical figure, but the name is not popular today. Esther was one of the few female Biblical heroes. Her faith and bravery saved the Jewish people.

The name Esther is believed to mean star.


Lois (LOE-iss)

Lois was mentioned in the Bible as the grandmother of Timothy. You occasionally hear the name Lois for older women, but it is not typically used for babies today.

Lois is a Greek name, and it means desirable.


Naarah (NEY-aa-Ruh)

The Biblical Naarah was one of the wives of Ashur, a grandson of Noah. It is a unique alternative to the popular Norah, and it means young woman or child of God.

Tamar (TAY-mar)

There are three women in the Bible named Tamar. Two of them were examples of strength in women who had little control over their own lives.

Tamar means date or palm tree. There is a currently a reality TV star named Tamar, so it might become more popular. For now, it is still relatively uncommon.

Salome (SAW-loh-may)

Salome was not the most celebrated person in the Bible. As the granddaughter of King Herod, she performed a dance for her stepfather in exchange for the head of John the Baptist. The head was a gift for her mother.

While this is a lovely name, you should prepare yourself for people to pronounce it like the delicious deli meat, salami.

Salome is Hebrew, and it means peace.

Vashti (VASH-tee)

Vashti was the stunningly gorgeous first wife of King Ahasuerus in the book of Esther. Her name means beautiful woman.

Zilpah (ZIL-puh)

Zilpah was a handmaid of Leah's. Leah asked her to bear children with her own husband, Jacob. Her sons were considered two of the ancestors of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

The name is said to mean frailty.


Biblical Names for Boys

Barnabas (BARN-uh-bus)

This is a cool choice for parents who want to call their son Barney. The Barnabas of the Bible was an early Christian who traveled with Paul.

The name Barnabas means son of comfort.

Bartholomew (bar-THAWL-um-yoo)

This elegant name means a farmer's son. In the Bible, Bartholomew was one of the 12 apostles of Christ.

Elon (eh-LAAN)

Elon was one of the original judges of Israel. There are two additional Elons briefly mentioned in the Bible.

The name Elon means strong.

Ephraim (EEF-ree-um)

Ephraim was one of the sons of Joseph and the head of the Tribe of Ephraim. It is also a Biblical city where Jesus is said to have spent time in the wilderness.

Ephraim is a Hebrew name that means fruitful.

Gideon (GID-ee-un)

Gideon was a Biblical prophet who was used by God to save his people. The name Gideon means great warrior.

Meshach (MEE-shack)

The Biblical Meshach was one of three men who survived being thrown into a fire for his faith.

Possibly meanings of the name Meshach include he who is like the moon god, referring to a Babylonian god, and he who draws his sword forcefully.

Reuben (ROO-ben)

Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob and Leah, and he led the movement to sell his brother, Joseph, into slavery. Later, Reuben regretted his actions and became an honest man.

Reuben means envisioning a son and might be particularly appropriate for someone who dreamed of having a baby boy.

Samson (SAM-sun)

The heroic Samson of the Bible gained his strength from his long hair. The evil beauty, Delilah, has his hair removed while he slept.

Samson means bright sun. It is an uncommon alternative to the popular name Samuel.

Solomon (SOL-uh-muhn)

Solomon was known as the wisest king in the Bible and is responsible for many of our traditionally held values.

The name Solomon means peace, but the name probably indicates wisdom more than any other trait.

Thaddeus (THAD-ee-us)


Thaddeus was one of Jesus' 12 apostles. The name is Greek and means courageous heart.

It also suggests the cute nickname, Thad.

Whether you are choosing a name to reflect or faith or you just love the sound of ancient names, you will find the Bible offers some excellent options. Use these 20 unusual Biblical names to get you started.


40 Baby Names Inspired by Nature

In this fast-paced world we are often encouraged to stop and look around us, and that is also true when deciding upon a name for your baby. Names inspired by mother-nature range from traditional, old-world names to edgier, contemporary monikers but all are deeply rooted in the natural world. Here are forty of the most interesting and inspirational natural baby names for your little boy or girl.

Unisex Nature Names

  • Bay. A type of Laurel tree or a sheltered beach. Also means ‘auburn’.

  • Dale. An Old English word for Valley.

  • Gale (Feminine spelling, Gail). Strong winds.

  • Ray. Associates with rays of light, or sunshine, and the batoidea fish.

  • Sandy. Evocative of warm, golden beaches.

  • Glen (or Glenn). A long, deep valley strongly associated with Scotland.

  • Storm. Tumultuous wind and rain, thunder and lightning.

  • Sunny. A warm, sunshine name.


Nature Names for Girls

  • Autumn. British English for the season ‘fall’.

  • Breeze. A light, cooling, refreshing wind.

  • Celeste. Of the stars. From the Latin meaning ‘heavenly’.

  • Dawn. The first light of day. Associated with new beginnings.

  • Eden. The Biblical garden of paradise. 

  • Eve. Nightfall. From the Hebrew for ‘live’ and ‘breathe’.

  • Luna. Another name for the moon, and moonlight.

  • Meadow. A vast field of natural grasses and wildflowers.

  • Misty. Dewy, foggy, hazy.

  • Rain (Also spelled Rainn). Stormy, refreshing, revitalising.

  • River. Life-giving streams and bubbling brooks. From the Latin ‘ripa’.

  • Sky (Or Skye). Vast, blue, uniting.

  • Star. Sparkling, celestial, cosmological.

  • Summer. Hot, bright, and carefree.

Nature Names for Boys

  • Blaze. Flame. Fiery and passionate.

  • Clay. Earthy and solid.

  • Cosmo. Another name derived from the stars. Also a variety of flower.

  • Den. A set or burrow, providing shelter and safety.

  • Flint. The state gemstone of Ohio. Strong and smooth.

  • Ford. The shallow crossing point of a river or stream.

  • Forrest. A natural wooded area, full of trees.

  • Heath. Natural scrubland covered in heather.

  • Hunter. Part of the constellation Orion. Strong, predatory.

  • Marsh. A lush wetland very valuable to many birds and wildlife.

  • Moore. Low-lying wetlands, or unfarmed natural hillsides.

  • Nile. A vast life-giving river.

  • Orion. A famous constellation containing many supergiant stars.

  • Rock. Stone. Steady and solid.

  • Sol. The Latin name for the Sun. Brightness and warmth.

  • Warren. A rabbit burrow, nurturing families and providing shelter.

  • Winter. The snowy season, crisp and cool.

  • Woody. Of the trees.


Choosing a natural name for your child may be a religious decision, a fashionable one, or something you pursue to honour the natural world of which we are all a part. Our names often provide the first impression of us to strangers as we progress through our lives, and children with natural names have excelled in the arts. From Rock Hudson to Glenn Close, Hunter S Thompson to River Phoenix, and Woody Harrelson to Warren Beatty, names inspired by nature continue to make an impact and garner acclaim across the globe.

ParentingEditor